- Copies of correspondence between Stphane Mallarm and other literary figures
- Copies of correspondence with the artists J M Whistler, Fantin-Latour and Legros (from various collections) and Montesquiou (from Bibliothque Nationale)
- Notes by Barbier and his correspondence with Whistler; poems and other works by Mallarm
- Photographs and documents relating to Mallarm family
- Concert programme and notes, French Society, 3 February 1978
Papers of Carl Paul Barbier (d.c1993), Professor of French, University of Edinburgh, relating to the author Stphane Mallarm (1842-1898)
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Carl Paul Barbier was Professor of French at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. In 1964, he published Correspondence Mallarm-Whistler in France as well as editing several books of his poetry and correspondence for publication. He died c1993 .
Stphane Mallarm was born in Paris, France, in 1842 . He taught English from 1864 in Tournon, Besanon, Avignon and Paris until his retirement in 1893. Mallarm wrote poetry from an early age and was influenced by Charles Baudelaire with his first poetry being published in magazines in the 1860s. His most well known poem is probably L'Aprs Midi D'un Faun (The Afternoon of a Faun) (1865) which inspired Claude Debussy's tone poem (1894) of the same name and was illustrated by Manet. Among his other works are Hrodiade (1896) and Toast Funbre (A Funeral Toast), which was written in memory of the author Thopile Gautier. Mallarm's later works include the experimental poem Un Coup de Ds (1914), published posthumously.
From the 1880s Mallarm was the centre of a group of French writers in Paris, including Andr Gide and Paul Valry, to whom he communicated his ideas on poetry and art. According to his theories, nothing lies beyond reality, but within this nothingness lies the essence of perfect forms and it is the task of the poet to reveal and crystallise these essences. Mallarm's poetry employs condensed figures and unorthodox syntax. Each poem is build around a central symbol, idea, or metaphor and consists on subordinate images that illustrate and help to develop the idea. Mallarm's vers libre and word music shaped the 1890s Decadent movement.
For the rest of his life Mallarm devoted himself to putting his literary theories into practice and writing his Grand Oeuvre (Great Work). Mallarm died in Paris on 9 September 1898 without completing this work.
The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received
Conditions Governing Access
Gift : family of Carl Barbier : 1994 : ACCN 4596
Gift : family of Carl Barbier : 1996 : ACCN 4661
Gift : private individual : 1997 : ACCN 4697
Other Finding Aids
The material is as yet unlisted but will be added to the department's online catalogue available at http://special.lib.gla.ac.uk/manuscripts/ shortly.
Alternative Form Available
No known copies
Compiled by David Powell, Hub project Archivist, 25 March 2002
No alterations made to date
Conditions Governing Use
Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Head of Special Collections
Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use & condition of documents
This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 247 procedures
Held by the family of Carl Barbier
Location of Originals
Some material is copied from the Bibliothque Nationale, Paris
No known publications using this material